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What IS that strange stuff in fruitcake? I realize I'm in the minority in enjoying this seasonal treat.  However, classic fruitcake isn't the only kind one can make. 

Even diehard fruitcake-haters probably will enjoy this version made with actual, identifiable and healthy fruit and nuts. 


Fruit Cake

1 med. can pineapple chunks
1 large firm apple, peeled and cored
3/4 C. cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 C. white sugar
1/4 C. brown sugar
3/4 C. dried apricots, chopped
3/4 C. dates, chopped
1/3 C. dried currants
1/3 C. raisins
few maraschino cherries, drained well and halved
1 C. pecans, broken or halves
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 C. unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1/3 C. sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. chopped fresh or candied ginger
2 T. orange marmalade
1 cup unsweetened applesauce

Drain juice from pineapple chunks into a medium stainless steel saucepan. Add 1/4 C. each white and brown sugar. Bring to a boil.  Chop apples coarsely and add to juice. Add cranberries. Turn down heat and simmer for ten minutes.  Cut pineapple chunks in half and add. Turn off heat and stir in dried fruit and cherries. Cover and let sit overnight or for 4 to 6 hours.

Heat oven to 325░. Butter an angel food, Bundt or Turk's head pan well.

Mix flour, soda and baking powder, spices, and pecans.  Cream butter and 1/3 C. sugar.  Add eggs one at a time.  Stir in ginger, marmalade and applesauce.  Add wet to dry ingredients, stirring just until combined.  Stir fruit mixture and add also, stirring until completely combined.  Pour into buttered pan and smooth out. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until cake is firm and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Germs, molds and other bugs seem to shun normal fruitcake just as most people do.  But this one won't keep for long in the heat.  Keep refrigerated.

(Gluten free baking mix may be substituted for flour; if mix contains baking powder, skip that also. You may substitute some of the dried fruit if needed, keeping overall quantity more or less equal.  Chopped pitted prunes are especially good.)


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